Brendan Rodgers looks forward to a lively month at Leicester

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Brendan Rodgers is excited about some of the challenges coming up for Leicester in September, but has admitted his team are a “long way off” the level he expects.

The Foxes headed into the international break with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Norwich on Saturday to make it two wins out of three in the Premier League.

Leicester return to action on September 11 at home to champions Manchester City and days later host Napoli in their opening Europa League match of the season.

It will be a stern examination of the FA Cup winners, who require improvements after they were pushed all the way at Carrow Road having lost 4-1 at West Ham earlier in the month, with defence an area of concern with numerous key players currently sidelined.

“We are really excited when we come back about some of the games we have, so we’re looking forward to that,” Rodgers said.

“We are a long way off what I want the performances to be but I am still really happy with the mentality and commitment of the team.

“I just think this season we need to keep looking to improve and develop. I look at us at this minute and of course we have really important players out but I still have faith in the players we are playing with. We are just making too many mistakes.

“We gave Norwich oxygen in the game when we had no need to because we gave away a penalty. That gives them some feeling in the game and we gave the ball away way too cheaply so we need to be more precise with our passing, because then that allows us to attack better.

“The worse you play, the more you run and of course I like this team to run and press but we need to play to a higher standard and we will do.

“Whilst you are searching for that, it is so important you are not down about it because we know it will improve.

“When you have that mentality, fight and will to win, it can take you a long way and we have two wins out of three so it’s been a decent start.”

Norwich City v Leicester City – Premier League – Carrow Road
Ricardo Pereira is an injury concern for Leicester (Joe Giddens/PA)

Full-back Ricardo Pereira limped off during the victory with a hamstring issue to add another defender to the treatment table.

Rodgers urged caution over Jonny Evans (foot) and Jannik Vestergaard (knee), who should both be fit after the international break.

The Northern Irishman also admitted the national team fixtures could be a positive because it would allow those away to improve their match fitness while others still at the club could keep working their way to full fitness.

“I’ll be happy for the boys to go away on international duty because they will play some games and add to their fitness,” Rodgers added.

“These first three to five games it is always difficult as you’re searching. We have the likes of Harvey (Barnes) still trying to get up to speed fitness-wise and one or two other lads.

Harvey Barnes File Photo
Harvey Barnes and several Leicester players are chasing full fitness (Nick Potts/PA)

“The boys will work hard and the guys that stay will have a few days off then we’ll be really excited about the month ahead after.

“We have some great games, we are into European football again and it is just patience, time and work but that will improve once the season goes on.”

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